Posted on: April 30, 2019
Staff Pick – “Perched” Contemporary Persian Carpet
Contemporary Persian Carpet “Perched” from the Orley Shabahang Animal Collection elegantly captures the beauty and innocence of its original Ghashghai inspiration. Company Director Shirin Lynch describes what she loves most about this piece.
There are many features of this contemporary Persian carpet and its design that make it a stand-out piece, yet ultimately what I love most is its character. Of the thousands of carpets I have seen throughout my life, there have been many exceptional pieces. There are rugs that I will always remember, true works of art that have inspired me in both their beauty and construction, in the refined balance and delicacy of their designs or the improvisational tenacity behind their creations. Each has its own unique character, yet few truly make me smile like this “Perched” rug. The leopard that dominates the scene of this carpet is magnificent and whimsical and elegant, all at once.
Whether abstract or literal in their depiction, leopards are a common motif among Persian carpets. Their history in Persian art and literature is layered and robust, symbolizing at various times strength and beauty, life and death, resilience and vulnerability. They exude regality in the kingdom of animals and men. Humor, however, is not a trait often associated with the leopard, and on its own is a difficult quality to convey in textiles. I love the way humor is expressed in the character of this piece, in the blissful countenance and proud stance of its main actor. In art and design I think we often overlook the role humor can play in making something beautiful, and similarly we forget that something that is beautiful can also be humorous. Tying beauty and humor together in its design, “Perched” evokes a feeling of calm and happiness.
When selecting this staff pick, it was difficult to decide between the original Ghashghai carpet and its minimalist contemporary counterpart. While I love both of these pieces, I chose the contemporary carpet for its neutral undyed wool palette and the innocent portrayal of its leopard amid the swordless lions lining the upper and lower field. You can find both of these carpets and more on our website at orleyshabahang.com, and our contemporary “Perched” carpet at 1st Dibs.